Texoma law enforcement agencies use different policies to chase suspects

Texoma law enforcement agencies use different policies to chase suspects
This is a photo of the suspect vehicle in Wilbarger County. (Source: RNN Texoma)

WICHITA COUNTY, Tx (RNN Texoma) - Every law enforcement agency has different procedures when chasing a suspect but at least five agencies worked together to stop a kidnapping suspect who stabbed a female in Wilbarger County on Thursday.

They differ in when to chase a suspect, how far and what kind of force and tactics to use to stop them.

"If it does not meet our criteria for a pursuit, we will not engage in the pursuit," Wichita Falls Police Sergeant said. "We will just simply assist with backup."

That policy is to only chase suspects when WFPD officers can prove they committed a felony, like kidnapping a woman.

"Is it worth the risk to continue to pursuit to catch this guy," Sgt. McClure said.

WFPD officers can also use stop sticks and block streets if its safe to do so.

Burkburnett Police Sergeant Donald Morgan said BPD officers, who started Thursday's chase, do not block roads, stay at least three cars behind, use spike strips, chase the suspect past city limits until another agency takes over and continues to assist.

Sgt. Morgan said they stopped pursuing the kidnapping suspect once they lost sight of his Red Dodge Charger.

Electra Police Chief Michael Dozier said his officers get involved in a chase when there is a felony or someone's life is in danger. They monitor scanner traffic from outside agencies and assist them. Electra PD were the first agency to use stop sticks which the suspect ran over.

Texas Department of Public Safety troopers also uses stop sticks. They were the second agency to use them on the suspect's car that led to him crashing on 287 North. Sergeant Dan Buesing said in extreme cases where the suspect is putting lives in danger, the area is clear of bystanders and all other methods have failed then troopers can shoot their tires to stop them. That method was not used on the kidnapping suspect.

"It may have gone through the troopers minds," Sgt. Buesing said. "It's gone through mine when I've been in these situations."

Sgt. Buesing said troopers are training to add a new tactic, pit maneuvers, something that would have been too dangerous to use on the kidnapping suspect, who drove 130 mph.

"It wouldn't have been appropriate to in this setting but it's something state troopers can use in the future," Sgt. Buesing said.

Chief Dozier also told us only in extreme cases they will use deadly force like shooting at tires to stop a fleeing vehicle.

Sgt. Harold McClure said the public can help law enforcement in these situations by simply slowing down and giving them room to chase the suspect.

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